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Takeaways from Hawaii’s False Ballistic Missile Text

Hawaii ballistic missile textOnly two weeks into 2018, and we have the first crisis communication case study of the year courtesy of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and its false tweet to residents across the island chain warning of a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii.”

The January 13 early-morning false alarm had families panicked, saying their goodbyes as they sought shelter from this doomsday scenario. After the threat was discovered to be false, government agencies and the media did all they could to inform people that this was a false alarm. Unfortunately, it took an excruciating 38-minutes to inform the public via text that it was a mistake.

Apparently, since November the agency has been practicing its Cold War-era nuclear warning sirens and online alerts amid growing fears of an attack by North Korea. It was a drop-down issue on a computer program and the employee mistakenly hit the “Missile alert” button instead of “Test missile alert.”

From a crisis communication perspective, here are a couple of takeaways from the incident:

Read more after the jump…

Maximize Your Social Strategy in 2018

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As January already stretches to a close, the relentless updates about new capabilities in social media for business have been fast and furious. Setting yourself up for success can be overwhelming with this constant slew of announcements. From composing killer copy to refreshing your Instagram strategy in the coming months, take a few small steps each week to stay current.

Instagram

Mashable: Instagram Just Added a Powerful New Way to Stalk People on the App

First there was Snapchat’s Snap Map feature and now Instagram follows that lead with functionality that allows you to see when a person was last active on the app. Log in regularly to your business account so potential customers see that you’re present and available. I always feel like somebody’s watching me… Read more after the jump…

Watch for Falling Social Stats

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Looking at the year ahead, both businesses and nonprofits will have to be light footed and prepared to change to stay in the digital game. Nonprofits should pay close attention to the changes Google announced to the Google Ad Grants program. Businesses will have to be nimble to make the best of changes to the Facebook News Feed that are likely to have negative impacts on organic page reach. On the proactive side, brands and marketers in 2018 planning mode are realizing the importance of paying attention to topics like authentic multicultural inclusion, not just ethnic tokenization to stay relevant to diverse audiences.

Google

GroundFloor Media: Google Ad Grants Changes in 2018: What Nonprofits Need to Know Now

Big news for nonprofits this week. Google Grants announced changes like the hefty lift of maintaining a 5 percent click through rate (CTR) in order to keep the $10,000 a month ad grant. On the plus side, Google is raising the prior $2.00 per bid limit. Our PPC team goes into detail on these changes. Read more after the jump…

Google Ad Grants Changes in 2018: What Nonprofits Need to Know Now

Early this month Google is rolling out some pretty drastic changes to the Google Ad Grants program, which provides up to $10,000 per month in free ad spend on the Google search network to 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

It’s clear by the nature of these changes that Google is making a major push for quality. According to Google, these policy changes are intended to “raise standards of quality for our free advertising grants” program which currently serves more than 35,000 nonprofit organizations.

Here are the major changes nonprofits need to know about – and act on – now:

Increased Click-Through Rate Requirements

Read more after the jump…

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital AgencyAnimation and motion graphics provide an alternative method of storytelling that lights and cameras might not always be able to. Whether it’s quantitative data and graphs or bouncy shapes and vectors, animation offers limitless creativity to implement and communicate visual ideas. There are several key benefits to implementing motion graphics into your video marketing strategy.
Read more after the jump…

Graphic Design Trends to Look for in 2018

Every year I look back at what was popular in graphic design and make my predictions for the trends that will stick around for another year. In 2018, graphic design will continue to incorporate cropped and chaotic typography, bright colors, gradients and custom illustrations. These trends will be pushed even further in the upcoming year, though. Colors will be brighter, and designers will utilize patterns and hues that are reminiscent of the 1990s. Squiggles, triangles and dots in neon colors will be transposed over bold, disjointed typography. The soft pastel shades that were popular a few years ago will be replaced by rich, full-bodied colors, like purple, turquoise and ultramarine. Serif fonts will make a resurgence, especially for headlines on the web. Custom illustrations will still be a useful tool for businesses looking for a handcrafted touch that separates them from competitors. When done right, illustration is a powerful storytelling tool that fosters connections between brands and customers.

Below are some examples of the graphic design trends you will likely see more of in 2018. Happy New Year!

Cropped and Chaotic Typography

cropped-chaotic-typography cropped-chaotic-typography-2 Read more after the jump…

Biggest PR Winners of 2017

Over the past month, I have shared some of 2017’s biggest PR disasters (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). I thought it would also be interesting to take a look at some of the year’s biggest PR winners:

JJWATTJJ WATT …  JJ Watt is a star player for the NFL’s Houston Texans who is known for his community involvement. He took it to a new level following Hurricane Harvey, however. He started a fundraising campaign with a $200,000 goal that would be used to help Houstonians affected by the devastating flooding. Football fans quickly responded, and he met the $200,000 goal within hours. So he raised it to $1 million, and media coverage helped him reach that goal within a day. As the number climbed and climbed, and media attention got stronger and stronger, celebrities starting donating six- and seven-figure checks – people like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus and Drake. And then corporate donors such as HEB and Walmart started adding even more. When it was done, Watt had raised more than $37 million that is being used to help people directly affected by the flooding.

TSWIFTTAYLOR SWIFT … This summer, Taylor Swift became the face of girls and women who fought back against sexual harassment and assault, and her battle occurred in a courthouse in Denver. Swift was groped by a local KYGO disc jockey at a Denver pre-concert meet-and-greet photo session, and he was fired after her complaint. When the publicity made him essentially unemployable, he sued Swift alleging defamation. Swift said she refused to be shamed by someone who assaulted her, and countersued for assault, asking only for the symbolic amount of $1. The case went to trial in Denver, and Swift prevailed. And in doing so, she became a champion for women everywhere.

CajunNavyCAJUN NAVY … Herbert Hoover popularized the concept of rugged individualism, the idea that individuals – and not government – should be primarily responsible for the welfare of Americans. The ideal is perhaps nowhere more obvious today than in the “Cajun Navy.” Formed in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina, the Cajun Navy is an ad-hoc group of volunteers largely based in Louisiana who help rescue victims of flooding when traditional first responders are overwhelmed. The group uses the smartphone app Zello to connect rescuers on bass boats, air boats, jet skis, etc. with those needing help. The Cajun Navy reappeared this year in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and it is credited with saving thousands of lives.

THIRTEENWOMENTHIRTEEN WOMEN … Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for decades. His track record of delivering hit after hit gave him enormous power, and he took advantage of that power to hurt women in the industry. His behavior had gone on for years, but this year 13 women summoned the courage to share their experiences – ranging from sexual harassment to rape – with NBC reporter Ronan Farrow. His article in The New Yorker sent shockwaves through Hollywood. Weinstein instantly became a pariah and a subject of criminal investigations, and more women throughout the worlds of entertainment and politics began sharing their stories, resulting in a wave of firings and resignations known as the “Weinstein Effect.”

Storytelling as a Presentation Tool

Storytelling plot example: The Quest | GroundFloor Media Public Relations Agency

Storytelling: The quest plot. Image via Quid Corner infographic.

At the core, those of us at GFM and CenterTable consider ourselves storytellers. Whether we’re developing social media content, drafting press releases or preparing talking points, we know that telling a great story is key to capturing our audience.

So, imagine our delight at finding this infographic that details seven basic storytelling structures:

  • Overcoming a monster
  • Rags to riches
  • Voyage and return
  • The quest (pictured at right, click through link above to see others)
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Rebirth

Read more after the jump…

Top CSR Companies That “Walk the Walk” in 2017

As the year wraps up it is time to look at the top CSR companies that “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk” when it comes to putting socially responsible practices into action.

CSR initiatives have many advantages that can be applied to any business, regardless of its size or sector.

As the year wraps up it is time to look at the top CSR companies that “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk” when it comes to putting socially responsible practices into action. These are the companies that demonstrate a commitment to their local and global community. Here are a few companies leading the way:

Bosch Group: For the Bosch Group, a German multinational engineering and electronics company, sustainability means securing the company’s long-term success while at the same time helping protect the environment for current and future generations. The company continues to operate by the values of founder Robert Bosch, who said, “I have always acted according to the principle that it is better to lose money than trust.”

  • Program Highlight:  Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch, which spends dividends exclusively on charitable initiatives. At the same time, the Bosch Group’s corporate structure helps ensure its financial independence and enables the company to plan for the long-term and make investments that secure its future. Bosch focuses on four sustainability-related areas of activity: environment, products, associates, and society.

Read more after the jump…

Test Your Social Media Savvy

Giraffe Mom and Baby | CenterTable Digital Agency

Photo by Eric Kilby via Flickr

What a year it’s been for social media! Who can forget the giraffe who labored on YouTube for days on end? Twitter doubled its character limit and Finstagram was born. The president’s Twitter account was suspended for just a moment, and a certain gif topped the charts as most popular this year.

Think you’re an expert at all of these topics and more? Then we’ve got a fun quiz for you – hot off the press from The Guardian. Take the quiz and share your score!

Speaking of quizzes, are you familiar with the trivia app HQ? Suffice it to say that you’ll find any number of GFM | CenterTable team members huddled around a phone ready to play each afternoon. Just in time for the holiday break, take our tip and add HQ to your phone. We look forward to competing against you in the next round!